East Lancs foodbank in bid to extend

Blackburn Citizen: East Lancs foodbank in bid to extend East Lancs foodbank in bid to extend

SOCIAL enterprise Community Solutions North West wants to expand its foodbank as it looks to extend the services it offers across the whole of Lancashire.

The not-for-profit organisation is hoping to move into a site in Trafalgar Street, Burnley, which is three times larger than its current base.

The foodbank area will remain the same size but the move, subject to planning permission, would allow the organisation to branch out into other projects to help struggling families.

Genevieve Waite of Community Solutions said: “The site in Trafalgar Street is three times the size of where we are now.

“But we are hoping, subject to planning, to be able to use it not only as our foodbank distribution centre, but also as a training centre for our befriending service.

“We would also be able to incorporate a shop for the community repaint scheme.”

Community Solutions’ befriending service offers companionship to isolated individuals across East Lancashire.

The repaint scheme involves buying near sell-by date paint to sell at a low cost.

Genevieve said, on average, Community Solutions helps 1,000 people each week with its various programmes and packs around 200 and 250 food parcels each week.

She confirmed that demand was on the increase and that requests for food had doubled since last year.

A total of 500 new referrals were issued in February alone.

The charity is also hoping to expand the work it does throughout Lancashire and begin to offer services in Preston.

This expansion is another reason for wanting a larger premises.

Genevieve said: “We want our service to be county-wide and to expand the whole service.”

The organisation has applied to Burnley Council for planning permission for a change of use of the former D Kitchen Ltd building in Trafalgar Street.

Community Solutions has a headquarters in Cannon Street, Accrington but was reported to be getting £300,000 from the government to renovate Elmfield Hall in Church.

It refused to comment on whether this move would still be going ahead.

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